Illinois College announced today that Dr. Barbara A. Edwards Farley will become the college’s 14th president.
She was introduced to the campus community and media this afternoon by Illinois College Search Committee Chair and Board of Trustees Vice Chair Robert Chipman and Chair of the Board of Trustees Joy French Becker.
“The moment I met Dr. Farley I was immediately impressed by her warmth and friendliness, and by her innate ability to communicate effectively with the search committee, students, faculty, staff and the board. Dr. Farley brings to our college an excellent background in higher education administration, both in the classroom and as an administrator,” Chipman said. “I can’t thank the search committee enough, and the meticulous and deliberate process they went through to include all voices in the decision including: students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.”
Farley is currently vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn. Prior to her current role at Augsburg, Farley was also academic dean/associate dean and associate professor of business administration at the college. She also served as academic dean and chief academic officer at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Penn. Farley holds a Ph.D. and an M.B.A from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Saint Benedict.
“Following meetings with faculty, staff and students it was quite apparent that Dr. Farley was an excellent fit for Illinois College, a true leader as I see it. She understands and appreciates the value of a liberal arts education and has demonstrated the critical skills needed to maintain the college’s high academic standards,” Becker said. “I have no doubt that Dr. Farley, with her excellent leadership qualities, experience and energy will be an outstanding president.”
Farley said it is a great privilege to be joining a liberal arts college with such a remarkable legacy of academic excellence and student success, and she looks forward to leading a college that is driven by its values.
“My leadership of Illinois College will be grounded in the college’s values of excellence, integrity, community, justice, service, respect and openness,” shared Farley this afternoon. “I offer an unwavering commitment to academic excellence, enrollment strength and financial vitality.”
As for the students, Farley said she plans to be a regular presence on campus and show the students respect for their aspirations and who they are as individuals.
“I will dedicate myself to providing you with a great educational experience that will prepare you to lead meaningful lives,” Farley said to the students of Illinois College. “I will be approachable and interested in what you have to tell me about your life here. I believe in your dreams.”
Farley continued, “Illinois College’s early leaders shared President Lincoln’s goals of justice and opportunity for all people. In that spirit, we will move boldly and confidently forward in continuing to fulfill the great mission of this college. I promise to do everything I can to ensure a strong college for today’s students and future generations.”
Illinois College began its search for its 14th president in April 2012 after President Axel D. Steuer announced his retirement from Illinois College effective at the end of this academic year (May 2013). At that time a national search commenced with assistance from Witt/Kieffer executive search firm. Soon after, a number of talented candidates were considered by the college’s Presidential Search Committee, which then narrowed a pool of over 60 candidates down to three, and brought those three finalists to campus in late October and early November for interviews.
The Presidential Search Committee unanimously presented Dr. Farley to the Board of Trustees on Saturday, November 17, at which time she was appointed president-elect.